Missing persons (Pakistan)

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Abdul Qadeer Baloch (Urdu: عبدالقدیربلوچ‎), better known as Mama Qadeer (Urdu: ماما قدیر‎) is a Baloch rights activist hailing from the Balochistan province of Pakistan. He is the founder of the International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons.[1]

Qadeer came to national and international prominence in 2013 when he traveled more than 2000 kilometers from Balochistan to Islamabad along with other Baloch men and women to protest against the issue of Baloch missing persons. Qadeer's own son, Jaleel Reki Baloch, was found dead in 2012, presumably killed by Pakistan's security agencies.[2] Jaleel was a political activist for the Baloch liberation movement. He was abducted from the front door of his home in Quetta on 13 February 2009. Witnesses including his friends, nearby shopkeepers and vegetable vendors and others in the neighbourhood mention that the abductors came in four unmarked cards with two Frontier Corps pickup trucks. His mutilated corpse was returned three years later.[1]

In March 2015, Qadeer was barred from leaving the country from Karachi Airport at the last minute. He was traveling to New York City to participate in a human rights conference to highlight the plight of Baloch people and the issue of missing Baloch persons.[3][4]

On April 9, 2015, Qadeer was scheduled to give a talk titled "Unsilencing Balochistan" in an event at the Lahore University of Management Sciences. The event was cancelled at the last minute by the administration citing "order from government" as the reason behind the cancellation. The incident was followed by protests from the students and faculty of the institute against the "academic censorship".[5][6] The cancellation also created an uproar on the social media in Pakistan.

Following the cancellation, an event titled 'Unsilencing Balochistan Take 2: In Conversation with Mama Qadeer, Farzana Baloch & Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur' was held at T2F Karachi. Following the event, Sabeen Mahmud, the director of T2F, was shot dead by unidentified assailants.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kiran Nazish, Balochistan's Missing Persons, The Diplomat, 6 January 2014.
  2. ^ Hamid Mir (25 February 2014). "72-year-old Mama Qadeer Baloch breaks record of Gandhi after 84 years". The News. Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "Silencing the Lone Voice on Balochistan's Missing Persons". The Diplomat. 6 April 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
  4. ^ "Mama Qadeer barred from foreign travels". The News. 6 March 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
  5. ^ "LUMS under pressure". DAWN. 11 April 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
  6. ^ "Lums students protest 'academic censorship'". DAWN. 10 April 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
  7. ^ "Director T2F Sabeen Mahmud shot dead in Karachi". DAWN. 24 April 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.